New Resource Highlights the Burden of Age-related Eye Disease and Underscores the Value of Innovation

September 25, 2007
CONTACT: Joan Hurwitz
(202) 293-2856
[email protected]


Washington, DC—Today the Alliance for Aging Research, in partnership with the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR), released a new volume of The Silver Book®: Chronic Disease and Medical Innovation in an Aging Nation dedicated to age-related eye disease—The Silver Book®: Vision Loss. The volume was released at a Capitol Hill Briefing today during Worldwide Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Week. The briefing was held in conjunction with AMD Alliance International, the Congressional Vision Caucus, and Prevent Blindness America.

As the U.S. population ages and the prevalence of chronic diseases increases, health care policymakers are searching for ways to curb spending. In order to promote national policies that encourage investments in innovation rather than short-term cost-cutting and health care rationing, in 2006 the Alliance for Aging Research launched The Silver Book: Chronic Disease and Medical Innovation in An Aging Nation, an almanac of compelling statistics that spotlight the mounting burden of chronic diseases and the promise of innovation in mitigating that burden. The original volume of The Silver Book focuses on cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and neurological diseases and has quickly become a trusted resource for health policy practitioners.

More than 38 million Americans age 40 and older are blind, visually impaired, or have an age-related eye disease. The economic impact of adult vision loss is also significant with the United States’ costs exceeding $51 billion—a huge share of the $68 billion annual cost of all vision impairment and eye disease in the U.S. The Silver Book: Vision Loss highlights this and other important data on the incidence and costs associated with AMD, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma—which along with cataract are the eye diseases that disproportionately affect older Americans. This volume also looks at the value of medical innovation in vision research. All of the data are cited with original sources and available on-line at The online version is a searchable database that is continuously updated as new information is published and that allows users to submit data.


Founded in 1986, the Alliance for Aging Research is a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the health and independence of aging Americans through the public and private funding of medical research and geriatric education. The Alliance combines the interest of top scientists, public officials, business executives and foundation leaders to promote a greater national investment in research and new technologies that will prepare our nation for the coming senior boom, and improve the quality of life for today’s older generation. For more information visit the Alliance’s web site at

The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a nonprofit advocacy coalition comprised of 55 professional, consumer, and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. NAEVR’s goal is to achieve the best vision for all Americans through advocacy and public education for eye and vision research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Eye Institute (NEI), and other federal research entities. Visit NAEVR’s web site at